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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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THE ASSI-RHAHBA.                                              275
narro'W facets, with two horizontal bands of carving : the capital^ are decorated
eitber with grotesque heads or the usual four squat figures.    The pillars of the
inner aisles vary much In design, some being exceedingly plain and otters as
richly ornamented with profuse and often graceful arabesques. Three of the
more elaborate are called respectively the Satya, Treta and Dwapar Yng; while
the name of the Kali Yog is given to another somewhat plainer* AM these
interior pillars, however, agree in consisting as It vere of two short columns set
one upon the other. The style is precisely similar to that of the Hindu
colonnades by the Eatb Minsar at Delhi; and both works may reasonably be
referred to about the same age. As is it probable that the fetter were not
built in the years immediately preceding the fall of Delhi in 1194? so also it
would seem that the columns at MaM-ban must haye been sculptured i>efore "fee
assault of Mahmtid in 1017; for after that date the place was too insignificant
to be selected as the site of any elaborate edifice. Thus, Mr. Fergasson's con-
jecture is confirmed, that the Delhi pillars are to he ascribed to the ninth or
tenth century. He doubts whether the cloister iiere BOW stands as original y
arranged by the Hindus, or whether it Jhad been taken down and re-arranged
by the conquerors; but concludes as most probable that the former -was the case
and that it was an open colonnade surrounding the palace of Fritfii Baj. " If
so?" he adds, " it is the only instance known of Hindu pillars being left undis-
turbed." Genera! Cunningham differs fror^ this conclusion, and considers it
utterly incredible that any architect, designing an original building and wisMno-
to obtain height,, should have recourse to such a rade expedient as constmciang
two distinct pillars, and then, without any disguise^ piling- up one on tie fop of
the other. But such a design, however strange according to modem ideas, did
Hot5 it is dear, offend the taste of the old MaM-ban architects^ since we find,
them cop}ring it for decorative purposes even when iiiere was no eonstmcioral
necessity for ii Thus some of the inner columns are really monolitlis^ and yet
they ImTe all the appearance of being in two pieces,
A good illustration of this Hindu fancy for broken pilkxs may be seem at
Koh-jhilj a town across the Ganges in the extreme north of the district. Here
also is a Mahammadan dargsii, constructed out of the wreck of a Hindu temple.
The pillars, twenty IE nnml>er7 are very simple in character, but exceptional in
two respects ; first, as being all of imiform desigiij which is gnite anomalous
in Hindu arcMtecture ; secondly^ as beingy though of fair height, each cut out
of a single piece of -stone. Ttie only decoration on the otherwise plain staE
consists of four deep scroll-shaped notches half-way between ifce          and
capital; the result of which is to                   eoloam appear as if It were in